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45 acp for deer?

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  • 45 acp for deer?

    I have killed deer with a dozen different wheel guns but never with an auto loader. I have killed them from almost point blank all the way out to a couple hundred yards with the wheel guns.

    My buddy made a suggestion a few weeks back that we use 45 autos this year to kill our deer. I laughed at him at first but when he didn't laugh back I knew he was serious. I have owned a few different 1911's over the years but they were usually just trading stock and I never became very proficient with one. Yesterday I picked up a Dan Wesson Pointman/Seven. Another first..the first Dan Wesson I've ever owned. I like the ergonomics of the gun as it seems like a well done up rig.

    I took it and a box of hardball to the range last night for a test run. I concider my self to be as good as any in these parts with a wheel gun. However I couldn't hit a fat cow in the ass with my new 45 auto. Ok maybe I'm exagerating a little but I am used to hitting milk jugs full of water at 100 yds almost every shot with my wheel guns. I had to move the milk jug all the way in to 30 yrds and it was still safe half the time. I would just blame it on the gun but I had my buddies Gold Cup National Match with me and the results were just as ugly.

    So here's the deal...I've got until the middle of December to get this ironed out. I am not one for crippling game so practice I will. I have killed well over 100 deer in my life and have only lost one and I remember that one more than the ones hanging on the wall. I will limit my shots to pretty much "bow range". Now guys this ain't no trophy hunt! If bambi walks by, long eyelashes and all the hammer will drop!

    So what do you think guys? Am I nuts?( OK thats a given) I'd like some input on load suggestions. What do you think of the DW Pointman?

  • #2
    Your'e not nuts at all. You could easily take a deer with that set up. I wouldn't hesitate dropping the hammer on one out to 50 yds with mine. Keep practicing, and I'm sure you will be succesful. Good luck, Matt


    • #3
      45 ACP Deer Gun...


      Yeah, it will work. Done that. It is all a function of marksmanship. (How did you miss the 1911 all these years?) Good sights help a lot. Use the Sierra 230 grain FPJ bullets and load to 900 fps. Try for ribcage shots and I wouldn't shoot past 50 yards, and I'm pretty good with a 1911.

      Helluva an Idea. No flies on the old 45 ACP round. The 1911 make great trail guns and can be used for lots of critters. My long list includes deer, coyotes, cougar and a host of smaller hapless creatures. Western Kansas Jack Rabbits and Armadillo's ooooh, that's fun. ('Possum on the half shell if you live in Arkansas) BTW, they do make wheel guns in 45 ACP. Good shootin'.

      Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


      • #4
        In the 70's and 80's I took all my deer with handguns (5-7 deer limits, and limits every year), both for the heck of it and to test various wheelguns and autos as defensive arms/calibers. Don't know what it proved about defense, but it sure taught me a bunch about how deer react to handgun bullets. I shot the 45 ACP in wheelguns as well as autos, not being particularly bothered by the auto action for accuracy. If you really want to use the round, look into a Ruger BH or old Colt revolver.

        As for the round itself, most loads didn't fare too well on deer. They were all one shot kills, but most took longer to die than I liked. Harball was downright awful. Wadcutter did better. Best was the light Remington HP. The most important variable was the nose, whether round or flat, and how flat. The 45LC, 44 Special and 44 Russian- all with flat "keith" wadcutters seriously outperformed the 45 ACP except for that Remington HP.

        Any revolver round over 38 Special with FP bullets was better than the 45 ACP hardball- not just single instances, but with several deer taken with each. If I was to head out with the 45 ACP again, it would be in a revolver and have big flat noses on the bullets. If I was determined to use the auto, I'd load it with one of the HP available today- not because I thought it would expand, but because the HP gave me a flatter nose than hardball.
        "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
        Merle Haggard


        • #5

          Are there any special tricks to load up a 45 ACP to get just a little more speed out of it? Powder or Primer change or anything hocus pocus with out going to a lighter bullet?
          God, Guns and Guts is what made America Great


          • #6
            I remember when I went from shooting my L&N frame Smiths to shooting Ruger Bisleys. It was the same deal I just felt the need to tread on new water and I also had to do some shooting/dry firing to get control of the different feel.

            This may sound a little off to some of you but I can figure out about as much about controling the gun by just dry firing it as I can by actually shooting it. No doubt the gun will do its part if I do mine. It's going to be fun.

            Murphy, I don't know how I by passed the 1911 for so long. I guess I just knew what I could do with a wheel gun and the 1911 was a step bass ackwards from that. However its the challenge thats involved that has got my attention now.


            • #7
              45 Auto loads...


              No tricks, just skill. The Sierra manual list several loads with a 230 grain in excess of 900 fps that are not +P. I do notice they no longer make the 230 FPJ design which I suggested.

              Even with the 240 JHC 900 fps can be acheived from the 5" 1911. Starline brass, Fed 150 primers, 9.5 grains of Blue Dot, or 7.3 grains of Herco, or 6.7 grains of Unique.

              With 230 grain JHP, (same brass & primer) 7.3 grains of Power Pistol, or 8.1 grains of 3N37, or 6.8 grains of Unique, will give 900 fps.

              I use 3N37 for 230 grain (8.0 grains =912 fps) and Blue Dot for the 240 JHC (9.5 grains = 889 fps) The 240 feeds in my guns but may not in some.

              These are not +P loads. For High Performance loads I use Starline 45 Super brass and a 24# recoil spring and ....more powder This package is limited to about 1100 fps for a 225 grain bullet. It tends to loosen the screws. Use caution. Good shootin'.

              Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


              • #8
                45. wheel guns

                they do make 45. wheel guns if its u are just not used to the auto's feel.


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